SOURCE: Save the Children

September 09, 2008 14:56 ET

Save the Children Partners With New York City to Keep Children Safe in Emergencies

Actress Julianne Moore Attends Signing Ceremony

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - September 9, 2008) - Save the Children and New York City's Office of Emergency Management today signed an agreement to incorporate Save the Children's Safe Spaces program into New York City's emergency sheltering plan.

Academy Award-nominated actress Julianne Moore -- a New York City resident, mother of two and Save the Children U.S. Programs Ambassador -- joined OEM Commissioner Joe Bruno and Mark Shriver, Vice President and Managing Director of Save the Children U.S. Programs, at a signing ceremony to kick off the initiative.

The Safe Spaces program provides children with a place to play, socialize, and begin to recover when living in shelters immediately following an emergency. Under the initiative, Save the Children will provide 1,075 Safe Space Kits for use in emergency shelters in New York City.

In addition, more than 1,000 volunteers will be trained to lead activities for children in shelters. The kits will be stored in OEM's shelter stockpile along with other supplies that can be quickly deployed to as many as 509 pre-identified shelter locations.

"As we were reminded last weekend by Tropical Storm Hanna, New York City is no stranger to strong coastal storms," said Commissioner Bruno. "OEM manages one of the most sophisticated shelter systems in the country and thanks to Save the Children we are better prepared to keep our youngest New Yorkers comfortable if we ever have to put the plan into action."

"Images of devastation and loss caused by hurricanes, tropical storms, tornadoes and floods have dominated the news almost every day this summer giving us ample reason to remain vigilant and pay attention to the unique needs of our children during an emergency. Save the Children's partnership with the City of New York fulfills a critical role in protecting and safeguarding children's needs during what is often a chaotic and tumultuous time in their lives," said Mark Shriver, Vice President and Managing Director of Save the Children U.S. Programs.

In a major coastal storm, such as a category 3 or 4 hurricane, as many as 2.3 million people would need to evacuate from New York City's coastal areas and up to 600,000 people would require temporary shelter.